ABC/Jeff Lipsky(LOS ANGELES) — Late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who will be hosting the 89th Academy Awards this year, shared how he is preparing for the show in an interview that aired today on Good Morning America.
Kimmel, who has hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live for 14 years, is a veteran awards show host. He has hosted the American Music Awards five times, the Emmy Awards twice, and the ESPYs once.
This is the first time, however, that he will host the Oscars. “It’s funny because you’d think it would be the same. You walk on stage. You tell some jokes. You try to stay loose and lively throughout the broadcast. You try to stay involved,” the comedian said. “But people keep reminding you that it’s the Oscars and that there are three times as many people watching, and that it’s the most important awards show.”
Kimmel admitted that he is even studying past Oscar hosts for tips. “I know it sounds like I’m being nice but I thought everyone did at least a good job, and some of them did great jobs hosting the Oscars,” Kimmel said. “And that actually makes it worse for me because what I would’ve loved is if the last 14 Oscar hosts had bombed miserably. That’s my dream, get in a time machine and go back and ruin the Oscars for all those hosts,” Kimmel joked.
Kimmel revealed that he was being paid $15,000 to host the Oscars, but added that “between, like, the tuxedo, and the dress for my daughter, and tuxedo for my son, and my parents, and the limos, and all that stuff, there’s no doubt I lose money on this deal.”
“This is a very bad investment,” Kimmel said jokingly, adding, “We don’t do this for the money. We do this for the love of giving awards to strangers,” he said. “We do this because we love to present baubles to millionaires.”
Kimmel said that his wife, Molly, will be helping him write his jokes and will also be backstage working with him throughout the night.
He added that he originally wanted to give Meryl Streep a “real pony” to celebrate her 20th nomination, but his wife ended up vetoing that idea.
“At first, she thought, ‘Oh, yeah, I could, I could probably hold a pony on a leash for three hours,'” Kimmel said. “And then I think she came to her senses and decided that was not a good idea.”
Kimmel also said that he was not looking forward to seeing his “arch enemy.”
“Unfortunately, we will see Matt Damon,” Kimmel said. “I have to look at his face in the audience. Odds are I’m gonna say something. He’s my arch enemy, really. I mean, if the Joker and the Batman were face to face, there would be some kind of a standoff and I would imagine that that will be the same for this,” Kimmel said of Damon, who has been nominated as a producer of Manchester by the Sea.
“I don’t want the film to lose,” Kimmel added. “I want him to lose.”
Kimmel and Damon have actually been good friends for years, appearing in skits together on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” where they go to couples therapy or pull pranks on each other.
Kimmel added that he hopes the audience enjoys the awards show and that he will watch the show after.
“After the Oscars, I’m going to go home and I’m going watch the broadcast,” Kimmel joked. “And I’m going see who was clapping and who was laughing. And more importantly, who was not. And I vow to destroy those people, for the rest of my days … I will not relent until they are out of show business.”
The 89th Academy Awards will air on Sunday on ABC.
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